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Technology to Drive Entrepreneurship in Northeast India

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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati leveraging digital technology to foster a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and forge crucial industry partnerships in Northeast India. The institute signed two significant Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) aimed at enhancing innovation, supporting startups, and strengthening industry-academia collaboration in the region.

Image credits: Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

The first MoU, signed with Assam Startup through Assam Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (AIIDC), aims to promote entrepreneurship by providing access to technology, industry insights, and innovation-driven programmes. This partnership is set to co-incubate startups selected under various initiatives affiliated with both organisations. IIT Guwahati will facilitate mentoring and technological support, while Assam Startup will provide business support.

The collaboration will also focus on providing access to industry, innovation, and investors, co-creating innovations across policy and programming to scale impact and entrepreneurship, and supporting research and development plans in innovation and technology. Furthermore, both entities will extend their respective institutional expertise, including technology, knowledge, and management aspects, and conduct outreach, awareness activities, and roundtable discussions in areas of common interest.

Mr Chinmoy Prakash Phookan, ACS, Managing Director of AIIDC said, “AIDC, as the nodal agency for the development of the startup ecosystem under the Government of Assam, is proud to announce the signing of an MoU with IIT Guwahati. This partnership identifies core areas for collaboration aimed at fostering a strong and vibrant startup ecosystem in the region.”

As a next step, multiple regional colleges and universities in Assam will be equipped with startup ecosystems, further enhancing the region’s capacity for innovation.

The second MoU, signed with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), aims to establish a framework to support entrepreneurial activities targeting agriculture, women’s development, and sustainability in the Northeast region. FICCI, as the apex chamber of commerce and industry in India, is committed to fostering economic growth and industrial advancement.

The collaboration with IIT Guwahati is expected to combine academic expertise with industry support to create a robust startup ecosystem in the region.

“FICCI aims to play a pivotal role in empowering startups in the Northeast, driving economic growth, and positioning the Northeast region as a significant contributor to the nation’s economy on a global stage,” said Mr Sumeet Gupta, Assistant Secretary-General of FICCI. “Our collaboration with IIT Guwahati will further strengthen this initiative, combining academic expertise with industry support to create a robust startup ecosystem.”

Prof Senthilmurugan Subbiah, Faculty in-charge of IITG – Technology Incubation Centre, IIT Guwahati, added, “This innovative catalyst will unite the seven states under one umbrella, significantly enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It will multiply the number of successful entrepreneurs emerging from the Northeast region of India, fostering unprecedented growth and collaboration.”

To further support this entrepreneurial drive, IIT Guwahati has launched a 6-week residential boot camp with 51 startup participants from the Northeast region. It will provide a robust platform for aspiring entrepreneurs, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the competitive startup ecosystem. The programme includes extensive expert sessions, mentoring support, and financial aid opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.

Through these initiatives, IIT Guwahati is not only enhancing internal efficiency but also positively impacting public service. Quality data that is easily accessible will aid in making better and more timely decisions. Additionally, the public needing information will benefit from the availability of accurate and easily accessible data.

The concerted efforts by IIT Guwahati to foster innovation and entrepreneurship underscore its commitment to transforming the Northeast into a hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurial excellence. These collaborations and initiatives will undoubtedly play a crucial role in driving sustainable economic growth and positioning the Northeast as a key player in the global digital economy.

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